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What can we do to save PC gaming?


LewieP
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One thing that PC gaming needs is a way of automatically setting your options – that actually works.

Case in point: I bought Dragon Age on PC, and the graphic options in that are Low, Medium, High and Very High. There is absolutely no indication of what the difference is between these options; no automatic recommendation based on system specs; and no opportunity to try the settings out in any kind of benchmark or test. All you can do is pick one at random and start the game. Of course you then have to sit through loads of cut-scenes (potentially hitching and stuttering if you've inadvertently picked the wrong option) before you get the chance to go into the options screen and try again. Rubbish.

Another example: Anno 1404 does have an "automatic settings" option, but it looked at my PC and set everything to Low. Of course, the game ran fine but it looked like shit. In actual fact it turned out that my PC could happily handle the game with most of the options turned on and set to High. Rubbish.

All too often it seems that with any new PC game you have to spend an hour going in and out of the options screen endlessly tweaking things to make them run well (and some games take an age to restart every time you change one little option), and by the time you've done this you've lost the enthusiasm to play the game. There must be a way in which games can at least make a reasonable guess at what you should be setting things to.

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This is a fairly emotive topic and one I've tried ever so hard to resist in participating in as I have very strong views in favour of PC gaming. There have been a fair few mentions of 'couch based' gaming, where it has been assumed that the definitive way to play a video game is slumped on a bean-bag. This is something that Shawn Elliot has riled against a great deal as he does not support such thoughts. Nor do I for that matter. For me, I don't mind if I'm on a train, bus, boat, my living room or study when playing a game!

To limit myself to the living room would deny me playing Company of Heroes, Crysis or indeed World of Warcraft. That's not a world I wish to live in thankyouverymuch!

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Watching John being baited over and over was pretty funny

Also, I don't PC game much these days- but I respect the freedom and cool things the platform still allows. Just annoying that despite the popular trend and ease of connecting PC's to a big HDTV and using it from the couch- mainly for media/web browsing- how a lot of games user interfaces and options make them impossible to play anywhere other than sat right up next to a monitor at a desk.

The PC is easy to connect like a console these days- they have HDMI out and optical out just like a console does and use 360 controller plug and play/with a small driver and use from the couch, but the games are still stuck to the desk only period. I think that's shit- and my main reason for not buying more games on it.

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I managed to get a very nice gaming PC earlier this year for about 400 quid, and since then I've fallen in love with Steam. Compared to the horrible memory management, autoexec.bat, config.sys, IRQ allocation days of old, PC gaming these days is peasy*. Windows 7 is a lot more stable and user-friendly than XP/Vista/et. as well.

*Even though installing The Orange Box was a pain in the arse. I've got the bloody disc in the drive, why are you downloading it off the internet?! I don't want to wait seven hours before I can play it you stupid mummafummin... :angry:

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Even though installing The Orange Box was a pain in the arse. I've got the bloody disc in the drive, why are you downloading it off the internet?! I don't want to wait seven hours before I can play it you stupid mummafummin... :angry:

God I never got that about some Steam games. I rememeber when I got Half-Life 2, what the hell was the point in bringing out in disc form if I still had to download the feckin' thing?

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Stunning ignorance...

Considering Rudi von Starnberg's general views, I think he was taking the piss with that bit of text, it's just a parody of what your typical PCLOL person would say about the worth of PCs as a viable games platform.

PCs are still fine for gaming, heck, most of the games everyone's foaming at the mouth for on consoles are made by developers who made their name on the PC and the PC version is usually superior (unless someone decided to conveniently not do a PC port).

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God I never got that about some Steam games. I rememeber when I got Half-Life 2, what the hell was the point in bringing out in disc form if I still had to download the feckin' thing?

I eventually found a way to install it off the disc rather than have it automatically start downloading from Steam, but I can't remember how it happened. I think I just basically kept stopping and starting the installation until it bent to my will.

Thankfully Left4Dead2 didn't mess me about like that.

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Considering Rudi von Starnberg's general views, I think he was taking the piss with that bit of text, it's just a parody of what your typical PCLOL person would say about the worth of PCs as a viable games platform.

Way I see it - he's either funny or serious and he wasn't funny so... :)

It is weird this obsession with PC games 'dying' - as someone said, it's been happening for eons and I'm seeing no real sign of any actual death or even serious illness.

In fact, my desktop recently having died I've been deciding whether I really need to replace it (I can run simpler games on my laptop) but I think the answer is "YES" because you miss so much not having access to even a midrange gaming PC imo

In fact if someone said "it's consoles or PC - choose" it would be PC everytime I'm afraid :)

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